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Blog - Fae Kilburn

Creating your own path

Self portrait, face takes up the whole page

Monoprint self-portrait by Fae Kilburn

The book
I’ve recently had my work published in a book titled Inspirational quotations and Creative responses by Mike Healey and Andy Wild. This has come from an open call I responded to last year, asking artists to submit artwork along-side a genuine quote that they related to. My quote was from Frida Kahlo “I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best”.

Why Frida Kahlo?

I’ve always related to her determination to never give up, I understand her grief at not being able to have children and her feelings of isolation due to ill health and like Frida Kahlo I create self-portraits and work about my health because there will never be anything I know better than I know myself.

I also feel that having a purpose in life is important, I’ve had to create a different path in life then the one I had planned and I’ve used my art to do this. It fills the void where a family should be and fills my time in a wonderfully productive way where a full-time creative job would have been.
I exhibit regularly and I get involved in community art projects because I like helping others access art and learn new skills.

black and white lino cut

black and white lino cut by Fae Kilburn 2001. Of a pregnant female

Other people
I know there are so many people out there who can’t have children, for some, like me it’s because of disabilities and for others it will be different. I’ve found focusing on something positive helps. Initially, my art was inspired by pregnancy and this helped express my sense of loss, I then became fascinated by genetics and cell mutation, these mutations alter lives so drastically but to the untrained eye, they look like harmless beautiful landscapes when looked at under a microscope.

These days my artwork is inspired by different elements of my health and the natural landscape and as you can see my style has changed. I’m revisiting the theme gene mutation because, I now know which gene mutated to create my disabilities, the FBN1 gene and I would like to create a body of work about this.

Looking forward
I’ve always appreciated what I do have not what I don’t have, there are far more positives then negatives in my life and in April thanks to the Emergence bursary and DYCP arts council funding I’ve been at Spike print studio in Bristol, creating collagraph’s inspired by this city my connections to it and the surrounding areas, I also had the pleasure of staying with my lovely family whilst I was there.

Most recently I’ve been on a Lino etching course in London, picking up new skills to experiment with when I go to Canada.
My trip to Canada is now only a few weeks away, so I’m organising what art materials to take and it’s suddenly beginning to feel real, I’m excited and a little nervous.

Here’s to creating your own path in life.

If you would like to see more of my work you can go to my website.

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